News update Telecoms and ICT in Africa - Issue no 952 23 November 2018

Top Story

KaiOS helps a low-cost featurephone become a smartphone – Launching in Africa with Orange and MTN

23 November 2018

Getting more people in Africa into the data future involves a tangled knot of problems that includes data prices, handset costs and last but not least changes in behavior. Russell Southwood spoke to Sebastien Codeville, KaiOS about its pioneering, low data consumption OS that turns a low-cost featurephone into a smartphone. KaiOS is a featurephone operating system based on Firefox Gecko that turns a featurephone into a smartphone operated with the navigator keys. It has become the second most popular mobile OS in India, taking 15% market share. Google has invested US$22 million in KaiOS and it has recently signed…

Telecoms

Uganda to make new telecoms investors share infrastructure

23 November 2018

Uganda will force new investors in telecommunications services to rent capacity from existing fibre optic cables, rather than lay their own, to stem infrastructure duplication and lower internet access costs,…


Telecoms

Standard Bank Mobile is South Africa’s latest (virtual) network

23 November 2018

South Africa has a new (virtual) mobile network operator in Standard Bank. The financial services provider today confirmed that it will ply its trade in the mobile virtual network operator…


Telecoms

Nigeria: Shutdown Of Telecom Services Imminent In Abuja, 8 States

23 November 2018

Telecommunication operators in the country have raised the alarm that about nine states and the federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja may be affected by imminent shutdown of telecommunication services unless…


Telecoms

Equitel partners with Itel to introduce two low cost phones in Kenya

23 November 2018

Equitel has introduced two Itel brands, targeting the low end feature phone and smart phone markets in Kenya. The two handsets are the Itel T 2150, a feature phone dubbed…


Telecoms

In brief

23 November 2018

South Africa: The ruling political party African National Congress (ANC) is considering the launch of an MVNO ahead of the 2019 general election, with a view to earning money to…


Internet

MTN acquires Simfy Africa

23 November 2018

MTN has announced that it has acquired Simfy Africa, a local music streaming company. Simfy Africa and the 42 million titles in its catalog would allow MTN to launch in…


Internet

Surge in demand for high speed mobile internet in Zambia

23 November 2018

New statistics from the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) confirm government reports that there is massive local demand for high speed mobile internet. According to statistics, the number…


Internet

Camtel contracts Nigeria's Sparkwest to sell SAIL fibre optic

23 November 2018

State-run Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel) has contracted Nigerian network tech firm Sparkwest Steel Industries Limited to market and sell connectivity on the South Atlantic Inter Link (SAIL) cable system to service…


Internet

African countries disrupt internet connectivity more than anywhere else

23 November 2018

When it comes to internet shutdowns, African nations are among the world’s worst violators. From Ethiopia in the east to Algeria in the north, Cameroon in the center and Zimbabwe…


Internet

South African domains exceed 1 million

23 November 2018

ZACR, the official registry for most South African top-level domains, has reported that over 1 million domains are in their registry currently. ZACR is responsible for the following South African…


Internet

48% cost reduction for bandwidth in Sierra Leone

23 November 2018

Sierra Leone has reduced the wholesale cost of its internet bandwidth by almost 50%, according to Ismael Kebbay, Managing Director of Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB) which runs the country's…


Internet

Vodacom and MTN to share 5G spectrum

23 November 2018

The additional radio frequency spectrum earmarked for 5G networks is licensed in South Africa. The aim is for cellular network operators to share it, according to the Minister of Telecommunications,…


Internet

In brief

23 November 2018

Liquid Telecom will expand its long-distance fibre route and metropolitan networks in South Africa, said the company’s group CEO Nic Rudnick. The announcement follows Liquid Telecom’s unveiling of the availability…


Computing

Spending On African Cloud Services Expected To Triple In Next 5 Years

23 November 2018

African investment in cloud services is increasing as the continent continues to leapfrog its way to technological development, with spending in the sector set to triple in the next five…


Computing

Lara.ng Is Getting People Around Lagos In A Way That Google Maps Can’t

23 November 2018

The transportation problems in Lagos persist partly because the government hasn’t found a common ground between political will and the useful application of data. To provide useful public transportation services,…


Computing

Huawei unveils new cloud region in South Africa

23 November 2018

At an event on Wednesday night Huawei Cloud announced it will soon be providing cloud services to South Africa. This will make it the world’s first cloud service provider that…


Computing

Uganda goes into ICT partnership with Microsoft

23 November 2018

Uganda has signed a deal with Microsoft as part of its strategy to create jobs and encourage innovation in the information and communication technology sector. The memorandum of understanding with…


Computing

KT partners with Ghana for epidemic preparedness using Big Data

23 November 2018

South Korean operator KT has partnered with the Ghanaian government to fight epidemics in Africa and other parts of the world using technology. KT signed an agreement to use Big…


Computing

Nairobi-based startup wins USAID’s Fall Armyworm Tech Prize

23 November 2018

Nairobi-based agri-tech startup Farm.ink has secured a cash prize of US$150,000 after winning the Fall Armyworm Tech Prize at the AfricaCom conference in Cape Town last week. The prize, run…


Money Transfer

MTN Targets Mobile Banking Licence in Nigeria

23 November 2018

MTN Group will apply for a mobile banking licence in Nigeria and plans to launch the service there next year. Nigeria announced last month that it would allow telecom companies…


Money Transfer

Paga Announces Exclusive Partnership With Global Retailer, Orange Mall

23 November 2018

Paga, the leading mobile money company in Nigeria announced that it has signed on as the exclusive payment partner to Orange Mall, an e-commerce solution making global shopping from over…


Money Transfer

Orange and MTN launch pan-African mobile money interoperability to scale up mobile financial services across Africa

23 November 2018

Two of Africa’s largest mobile operators and mobile money providers, Orange Group (www.Orange.com) and MTN Group (www.MTN.com), today announced a joint venture, Mowali (mobile wallet interoperability), to enable interoperable payments…


Money Transfer

MTN opens Mobile Money Application Program Interface (API) as it unveils fund for Ugandan startups

23 November 2018

The Mobile Money Open Application Program Interface (API) will now be accessed by third parties; the expectation is to enable innovation around payment systems; MTN has also launched a Startup…


Money Transfer

Mozambique: Electronic Banking Collapse Causing Huge Losses

23 November 2018

Maputo — Mozambican private businesses are losing about five million meticais (82,000 US dollars) a day because of the collapse of most electronic banking systems in the country, according to…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Sonangol earmarks 25% stake in Unitel for sale

23 November 2018

Angolan state-owned oil and gas company Sonangol plans to sell its indirect 25% stake in the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers Unitel by the end of December 2019, according…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa explores sale

23 November 2018

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa is exploring options including selling all or part of itself, people with knowledge of the matter said. The closely held company is working with…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

MTN Rwanda close to finalising RWF 50 bln syndicated loan, denies report of plans for share sale

23 November 2018

MTN Rwanda is close to sealing a deal for a RWF 50 billion syndicated loan to be used to modernise its network, Reuters reported. Chief financial officer Diatile Lily Zondo…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Zimbabwe: Telecel part-privatisation could take two years

23 November 2018

The government of Zimbabwe has said that it expects the part-privatisation of mobile operator Telecel to take up to two years. CommsUpdate wrote last month that authorities were hoping to…


Digital Content

FreshPhone launches app aimed at replacing traditional home phone

23 November 2018

South Africa's FreshPone has introduced a free mobile application it says could replace the traditional home phone. The app enables customers to manage all their home phone calls seamlessly on…


Digital Content

Cellulant, Facebook Partner to Launch Africa's 1st AR Experience On Messenger

23 November 2018

Cellulant, has built Africa's first Augmented Reality (AR) powered try-on experiences in Facebook Messenger. As part of the roll-out programme, Kenyan brandHuddah Cosmetics, has been selected as the first social…


Digital Content

Finding fakes: Mobile phones help detect counterfeit seeds in Kenya

23 November 2018

A push by Kenya Seed Company to help farmers verify the authenticity of seed is helping them protect harvests in the face of climate change NTULELE, Kenya, Nov 16 (Thomson…


More

People

23 November 2018

  Cape Town — INDUSTRY colleagues have voted Abdikarim Mohamed Eid and Priya Thakoor as the continent's most inspirational information and communications technology corporative executives (CXO) for the year.  …


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Opportunities

23 November 2018

Samip, Code for Africa call for Cape Town media innovators to pitch products The SA Media Innovation Programme (Samip) and Code for Africa are calling on media innovators in Cape…